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BlueSnap and Elance Offer 1M/1M Scholarships to Digital Commerce and Subscription Businesses

Posted on Monday, Apr 23rd 2012

Fremont, Calif. – April 23, 2012 – BlueSnap, a global provider of open cloud commerce technology and services to meet the rapidly changing needs to today’s digital brands, and its CEO, Hagai Tal, today announced the BlueSnap–Elance Entrepreneur Development Scholarship Program to encourage new entrepreneurs who are launching or engaged in digital commerce ventures. This program is supported by noted Silicon Valley entrepreneur, strategist and author Sramana Mitra and the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) global initiative, which has a goal of nurturing one million entrepreneurs to each reach $1 million or more in annual revenue. Through the program, BlueSnap and Elance will together award 12 entrepreneurs scholarships to virtually attend the 1M/1M program for one year. BlueSnap will assist the scholarship recipients in establishing their online business presence on BlueSnap’s Plimus platform, enabling them to begin selling and implementing the lessons learned with the expert guidance of BlueSnap. In addition, Elance, the world’s leading platform for online employment, will provide Elance service credits to help them hire and manage online professionals in the cloud.

One Million by One Million (1M/1M) is a case-study-based, online educational program that provides budding entrepreneurs methodologies; video lectures; strategy consulting through public and private online roundtables; and introductions to customers, channel partners, and investors, including pre-seed, seed, angel, VC, bank, and alternative financing. The 1M/1M program is all about coaching entrepreneurs on funding, business strategy and execution. BlueSnap’s mission is to help companies of all sizes overcome the hurdles inherent in implementing e-commerce platforms. In a world increasingly dominated by the social Web, the ability for vendors to adapt and evolve business and commerce models quickly and strategically is imperative. BlueSnap allows traditional and emerging companies to provide global, enterprise and consumer access to digital storehouses of content, services and products, through a wide array of traditional, subscription, and emerging ownership models.

Elance is the world’s leading platform for online employment, and helps businesses hire and manage in the cloud. Whether businesses require IT, marketing, administrative, or creative services, Elance ensures that companies have instant access to a contingent, global, and online workforce.

The idea for the Entrepreneur Scholarship Program grew from an interview Mitra conducted with BlueSnap CEO Tal last year for her blog Sramana Mitra on Strategy (https://sramanamitra.com). Tal was then CEO of Plimus, a company purchased in 2011 by Great Hill Partners that developed the e-commerce technology platform upon which the recently announced BlueSnap open commerce offerings are built. With company and CEO DNA grounded in small, fast-growth companies, and a business model based on shared mutual growth, BlueSnap traces its success to the inventive entrepreneurs who are now leading some of the most successful online commerce sites in the market with some of the most innovative new SaaS-based services.

“While BlueSnap is targeted toward enterprise-class commerce-as-service solutions, we also service many fast-growth, SaaS-based companies. What better way to celebrate our history in e-commerce, stay close to the entrepreneur and grow with them as they grow, than with Sramana’s 1M/1M program?” said Tal. “I’m a serial entrepreneur myself, and this program gives people the skills and access to expertise they need to learn how to run and manage their business and sell like an expert.”

“We’re excited to offer entrepreneurs instant access to great talent so they can get work done faster and cost-effectively with an on-demand team,” said Ved Sinha, vice president of SMB at Elance. “This program with BlueSnap and 1M/1M is a great resource for businesses to launch and expand their companies.”

Said Mitra, “We can accept companies regardless of their prospective total available market (TAM) or the speed at which the business will grow. Small, niche businesses comprise the operating system of the global economy, and any small business owner can benefit from being trained. 1M/1M is headquartered in Silicon Valley and is an international virtual incubator for entrepreneurs rooted in the Valley’s methodology and best practices; only the ability to speak and understand English is required. Our program started in 2010, and this partnership with BlueSnap is yet another recognition the program is receiving worldwide and we are excited to see the potential.”

The deadline for entrepreneur scholarship applications is May 11, 2012.  Applicants must have a concept or existing business providing a digital commerce product or service that offers any of a wide variety of digital goods, including audio and video content, software, casual games, and subscription access to publications and services. Submissions take the form of a simple business plan; a sample application format is available here: http://1m1m.sramanamitra.com/bluesnap-elance-scholarship-program

On May 18, twenty finalists will be selected to present their company pitches, with guidance from 1M/1M, during two public online Roundtables for Entrepreneurs on June 4 and June 7. The 12 winners will be chosen at the end of the sessions by BlueSnap CEO Hagai Tal, Elance VP of SMB, Ved Sinha, and Sramana Mitra, and each will receive a yearlong scholarship to the 1M/1M program, access to BlueSnap commerce experts who will help establish the winners’ online presence when ready, and Elance service credits to help them hire and manage online professionals in the cloud. Existing commerce ventures, if chosen, would work with BlueSnap experts to implement BlueSnap technologies for their monetization platform. Winners will be profiled on both the BlueSnap and 1M/1M websites after the roundtable.

About BlueSnap
BlueSnap is a global provider of open cloud commerce technology and services that meet the rapidly changing needs of today’s digital brands, helping companies of all sizes optimize customer engagement to maximize revenue. BlueSnap offers flexible monetization solutions that allow companies to create competitive advantage. Built on proven technology that leverages more than a decade of digital commerce expertise, BlueSnap provides a compliant and secure business environment that scales the consumer experience and turns browsers into buyers. For more information visit www.bluesnap.com.

About Elance
Elance, the world’s leading platform for online employment, helps businesses hire and manage in the cloud. For businesses looking to staff-up a team on an hourly or project basis, Elance offers instant access to talent and the ability to build and manage entire teams online. For independent professionals who want to work online, Elance offers access to qualified clients, a virtual workplace and guaranteed pay for great work. The company is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, California, and Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit Elance at www.elance.com.

About One Million By One Million
One Million by One Million (1M/1M) is a global initiative to nurture a million entrepreneurs to each reach a million dollars in annual revenue and beyond, through education, incubation, strategy consulting, coaching, mentoring, business development, media outreach, and access to capital. Find more information here: http://1m1m.sramanamitra.com

For More Information
BlueSnap Contact:
Charles Born
Charles.Born@bluesnap.com

Elance Contact:
Carrie Stuart
cstuart@elance.com

One Million By One Million Contact:
Maureen Kelly
maureen@sramanamitra.com

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